Morning business round-up: Chinese exports rise strongly

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What's making the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

Chinese exports rose more than expected in February, adding to optimism over a recovery in its economy.

Shipments jumped 21.8% from a year earlier, boosted by strong demand from the US and South East Asia. Most analysts had expected a 15% rise.

Exports, which are a key driver of China's growth, have been hurt recently by a slowdown in its key markets. Analysts said the data may be skewed due to the Lunar New Year, but added that the trend was that of a recovery.

Japan's economy stopped contracting in the final quarter of 2012, figures have shown, raising hopes of a recovery.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual pace of 0.2% in the quarter, the government said, up from its previous estimate of a 0.4% contraction.

It follows a 4,000 jobs cut last August as Google aims to turn around the loss-making business it acquired last year for $12.5bn (£8.3bn). The layoffs are expected to affect the United States, China and India, according to a company email.

Stock markets in Asia and Europe continued to rise on Friday, capping an impressive week for stocks which saw the US Dow Jones index hitting a record high.

And from the Geneva Motor Show, the chief executive of Volvo tells the BBC his sales plans for the carmaker's new V60 diesel-electric hybrid.

For an in-depth examination of the business issues behind the headlines, listen to the latest Business Daily podcast from the BBC World Service. The latest issue focuses new innovations, and whether they come about through small steps, or giant leaps. It will also be exploring the risks and rewards of innovation in Africa.

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